YMMV: Match Game

  • Accidental Innuendo:
    Gene: Speaking of "bazzums"... Fannie, would you show us yours?
    Gene: Milk is the answer that Myron's looking for. Let's see if we can get a little milk from Patti here.
  • Adaptation Displacement: Several fans of the 1970s version are unaware of the NBC version, which was a far more staid affair (as was the first season or so of the 1970s version).
    • Around the time the 1970s version premiered, the "HOW Y WAS X?!" routine (see Memetic Mutation, below) was already fairly well known from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (and is still in use today, in some form or another, on Jay Leno's run). You have Bert Convy to thank for its association with Match Game; he started doing it sometime in 1973 as a Shout-Out, and he and other celebrities kept using it so much the audience soon joined in.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Almost every Super Match/Head-to-Head Match that had Richard Dawson present. Contestants would always pick him for the Head-to-Head because he rarely mismatched. In mid-1978, the show added a "Star Wheel", which would randomize which of the six celebs the contestant would play with in the Head-to-Head Match. The Star Wheel did much to hasten Dawson's departure, and he became much more sullen over the seven weeks after the Wheel's debut.
    • Although, rather hilariously, he was the first one the Star Wheel picked.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Gene and Jon "Bowzer" Bauman's banter following The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour.
  • Growing the Beard: At some point circa 1965-66, having been cancelled with six weeks left to make, the show turned into a comedy game with silly questions like "Mary liked to pour gravy on John's _____"...and quickly got renewed by NBC. The show returned to the "sterile" stuff in 1973, but changed within six months to include the likes of Dumb Dora, Old Man Periwinkle, and anything that would lead to an answer of "boobs".
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Both 1990s hosts, Ross Shafer and Michael Burger, would eventually end up working together on the informative Web Original series, Relevant Report.
  • Memetic Badass: Charles Nelson Reilly, thanks to "Weird Al" Yankovic. "Giddyup, Gene!"
  • Memetic Mutation: "X was so Y..." "How Y was X?!" A lot of younger people don't even know the source of this meme.
  • Replacement Scrappy: When Richard Dawson left the panel, he was eventually replaced 11 weeks into the final season (1981-82) by McLean Stevenson. He was no Dawson, though.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Kirstie Alley was a contestant at one point.
    • As was Brianne Leary of CHiPs (MG '76; she appeared on the celebrity panel in '79).
    • Former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick was a contestant on PM.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The 1998-99 revival's theme started out almost identically to the 1973-82 one, complete with the scratchy guitar work, but then went off in its own direction. Almost a spoof, really.
  • That One Level: "Match-Up" in the ABC version (but not Convy's pilots), a ham-fisted attempt to add an actual sort of "game".
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
    • The 1979-82 daily syndicated run had two contestants play two games, after which they would both retire, instead of returning champions. At least one player won both games and struck out in both Super Matches, going home with parting gifts.
    • The ABC version had each episode be self-contained, but unlike Match Game PM, it had returning champions. The scores were cash-based, however, and the game hinged on the second Match-Up rather than the second pair of A-B questions.
    • The 1998-99 version, especially with the original set the questions went from Getting Crap Past the Radar to Dude, Not Funny!, the panel was reduced to five celebrities, the returning-champion aspect was eradicated, the payouts were cheap, the chemistry just wasn't there, and some guests were very bored.
  • What an Idiot:
    • October 1979: One contestant, given the question "The sporting goods store owner said, 'That caterpillar must be an athlete. He just bought 100 pairs of shoes and a ____!'", answered "accordion". She later went on to give an even worse answer in the Head-to-Head Match; given a question of "Cuckoo ____", she responded "Cuckoo, Friend, and Ollie" a rather mangled Mondegreen of Kukla, Fran and Ollie.
    • 1990-91: This game-deciding Match-Up.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Kukla and Ollie from Kukla, Fran and Ollie appeared on MG '79 and PM that same year (all before the "Cuckoo ____" fiasco), both staying in character.